Over the past decade, I have realized that there has been a drastic drop in the amount of decent slasher movies (or slasher movies, in general) and this has saddened me as I can remember being young and having a wide variety of slasher movies to watch, but through the years I feel like I have watched every good slasher there is. In the last few years, the slasher industry has definitely declined, both in quality and quantity.
However, I believe there can still be redemption for the slasher industry, especially when there are movies like the following ten being made:
10. Stage Fright (2014)
While being considered more of a horror-comedy, I still feel like the movie gave its viewers good character development and made us care for the central protagonist, especially with the gruesome flashback shown at the beginning of the movie. Set in a summer music camp, this promises to be very cheesy and camp, but it is like this deliberately and that’s why it works. It is filmed like a musical with a few awkward singing moments between several of the characters, there are a lot of unlikable characters in the movie I would personally like to kill if I was the murderer, but unfortunately this is where the movie gets criticized, for the amount of characters that could have had amazing death scenes, there is a lot of missed potential. The main villain’s outfit and mask are fun and remind me of a lot of retro 80’s slasher flicks, but he spends most of his time in the basement of one of the cabins, slashing his blade against a brick wall with pictures of campers on it. The killer’s reveal didn’t come as a surprise to me, but if you are just looking for something to kill an hour and a half with then I would recommend this, but it is not to be taken seriously AT ALL.
9. Bastard (2015)
While being filmed with a low-budget, it really does not feel like it at all. The central characters are all very unique and well acted, there is a lot of character development built up before the murders start. For example, we find out that two of the main characters are serial killers themselves as they murder a man for his car and belongings at the beginning of the movie, this instantly intrigues the viewer and leaves them wanting more. Then we are introduced to a policeman with a secret… his love life, as well as a young runaway couple who got out of there home town as their families never accepted their love for each other. The killings are very graphic in this slasher, and they are all very sudden and take the audience by surprise, the killer’s look is nothing special, a doll mask which has been done before e.g. “Alice, Sweet, Alice” and “Valentine”… But the good thing about this movie is the amount of twists and turns throughout the movie, which I cant say if I have inspired you to watch it, just trust me on this one; the acting is some of the best I have ever seen, the camera quality is well-handled and the story is just one big thrill-ride from beginning to end, I agree with the reviews on the DVD cover, this movie is one of the “Most Flawless Retro Slasher Ever”!
8. See No Evil 2 (2014)
The ‘See No Evil’ franchise hardly gets any recognition as it is, which really saddens me because they are really decent slasher movies, I know that the “WWE Studios” logo can scare some people away because, trust me, I never showed any interest in the original movie until I watched this sequel, I picked it up really cheap soon after it got released on DVD and I’m glad I did. I mainly picked it up because Danielle Harris plays the main character and I think she is a great actress, she is also my favourite scream queen in recent years. The story picks up immediately where the first one left off, as all the victims of the first movie are brought into a morgue in body bags where Harris’ character is performing autopsies on them all late at night. Her friends surprise her by coming to the morgue where they have a little celebration, to everyone’s surprise, the murderer (Jacob Goodnight) awakens in his body bag and hunts down the group of medical students one-by-one.
The movie is very bloody and some of the death scenes are very brutal, I like that they set the story immediately after the original. The only thing that stops this from being further down on the list is the fact that they killed off Harris’ character, I guess I’m used to her being the final girl but that upset me. However the tension built up towards the end of the movie really makes you want the remaining medical student to survive this night of terror.
7. Hatchet 3 (2013)
I am so happy that this trilogy exists, I noticed that there were hardly any recent slasher icons to look up to lately, and even if the third movie is the last time we cross paths with Victor Crowley, I am glad that his send off was positive. As always, Danielle Harris plays the final girl really well as her character had already survived his reign of terror twice… but now, she wants rid of him for good. Adam Green done such a good job of producing a new horror icon for the 2010’s and I hope that he goes on to do so much more for the horror community. I feel like he could do an incredible job of the new “Friday the 13th” reboot that teased us all last year. I love how Green manages to wrap everything up nicely and gives a faithful send-off to both his protagonist and antagonist. I think this entry in the series is quite light-hearted and humorous while maintaining the shock value with the gory deaths. If you want to keep the slasher genre alive, please watch all three of these modern classics, I guarantee you will not be wasting your time
6. Laid To Rest 2: Chrome Skull (2011)
Like Victor Crowley, I believe that Chrome skull has definitely became one of the most recent icons of slasher horror. With talks of a third ‘Laid to Rest’ movie in the works, it won’t be long until he gets his own trilogy. This sequel comes complete with over-the-top gory deaths, a lead character that you hopes survive this nightmare and a battle between two psychos makes this one of the best slasher movies of the past decade, and it helps that Danielle Harris makes an appearance, even if it is not for a long while, her character is crucial to the plot, and the setting up of the third movie. For some people, this may be a bit too gory, but everyone can manage to see some like-able qualities about this movie. If you are a fan of really gory slasher movies then I would recommend checking this flick out.
5. American Mary (2012)
While not being a full-on slasher movie, this unique movie written by the Soska sisters manages to charm its audience by making the title character incredibly likeable as the viewer empathises for her as she gets treated like trash from her superiors as she attends medical school, she gets approached by the mysterious Beatress Johnson (a Betty Boop look-a-like) who begs for her to perform body modification surgery on her, promising to pay thousands of dollars as Mary is struggling to afford living in her apartment. After the success of the operation, Beatress passes Mary’s details over to the owner of a strip club, who hires her to heal his wounded club members. The club owner then begins an infatuation with Mary as she operates an off-licensed body modification shop in her own apartment, making hundreds of thousands per week. She then gets drugged and raped by her pompous lecturer, so she decides to take her revenge and torture him mercilessly by practicing her body modification techniques out on him, she goes on a semi-murder spree to make sure there is no evidence left of his existence in her apartment. This movie is very well done, with a wonderful sense of dark humor. The main protagonists are like-able, the modification surgeries are interesting to watch and overall, this is a very artistic, incredibly funny, gory movie. I definitely recommend watching this underrated movie, it is incredibly cheap to pick up, and I guarantee that you will enjoy it.
4. Curse of Chucky (2013)
The most overlooked of the “Child’s Play” franchise, this entry in the series goes back to basic possessed killer doll territory as there is no slapstick comedy or dark humour, this is pure horror at its finest as a woman confined to a wheelchair loses her mother under tragic, unexplained circumstances shortly after a doll arrives in the mail from an unexplained source. This sequel captures the feel of the original movie, focusing on an innocent family getting terrorized by an angry midget made out of plastic. Only this family isn’t so innocent, as it is filled with drama and scandal. The characters are original, but most of them are unlikeable and you find yourself rooting for Chucky – but let’s face it, in every movie we are always rooting for Chucky. The kills are carefully thought out and planned ahead, there is a lot of foreshadowing in the movie, which explains the ‘curse’ in the title. As well as a few gruesome deaths, we also learn some additional information of the life of Charles Lee Ray before he was turned into the serial killer doll. There is also an additional cameo from Tiffany towards the end of the movie (played by the wonderful Jennifer Tilly) which I think is a really nice touch as Tiffany is my favorite character from the franchise.
3. You’re Next (2011)
This is not your typical home invasion movie, the Davison family all reunite for their parents anniversary where three masked assailants target their house, planning to murder every member of the family. The tension builds up quickly and makes the audience fear for the characters survival. The main character is absolutely vicious and kick-ass in the role of the final girl, she is more deadly than all three killers combined, she manages to outsmart them at every turn, and turns the entire movie upside down, making this seem like the best tongue-in-cheek slasher movie since ‘Scream’. The acting from the other characters is nothing special, but the reveal of the killers and how they link to the family is intriguing to watch unfold. The killings are brutal, bloody and unapologetic as the director makes everything seem real and raw. This is the horror movie that the slasher industry was craving for, a lot of care and thought went into this movie and you can tell!
2. The Final Girls (2015) / Hush (2016)
“The Final Girls” delivers lots of laughter and blood in this action-packed horror-comedy, I cannot express how much I love this movie, the main characters are instantly like-able and the plot is amazing, the characters go to a screening of an old fictional 80’s slasher flick that starred the main character’s recently deceased mother, she is invited along as a guest, but is hesitant about going as the grief she feels for her mother is still fresh. During the screening, an incident occurs that leads all the main characters to go through the screen and directly into the movie as they get sucked into an 80’s horror movie nightmare set at a summer camp, which parodies “Friday the 13th” in so many ways. They discover that the movie will continuously play on repeat until they manage to fight their way to the end, trying to keep the final girl alive, but the main character wants to save the character being played by her mother, who dies in the original script, which throws the movie’s story off balance, creating an alternative ending as it is an unpredictable fight for survival to see who will actually survive this bloody massacre. With a ton of throwback references for lovers of the genre, as well as constant slapstick humor for the comedy fans, just about anyone can find something to enjoy in this thrilling movie. I guarantee constant enjoyment throughout.
“HUSH” takes a more serious approach to the home invasion concept, as the main character is deaf and has to rely on her other senses in order to survive one night of constant stalk-ish hell, she is a writer who is struggling to write a second best-seller, so she has relocated to the woods in order to discipline herself into writing seriously, but with news of a murderer on the loose nearby, a neighbor drops by to ensure her safety. Later on that night, the neighbor comes rushing to her house in panic, as she begs for her attention to let her in, but with the loss of her hearing, the neighbor is brutally murdered right behind the main character without her noticing, then later on, a masked assailant appears outside of her window. She uses her writing ability as well as her inner conscious thoughts to survive the night as she has to think like a killer in order to outsmart him. The thing that annoys me about the movie is that there is no motivation whatsoever for the killer to be torturing the protagonist, he is just a lunatic. But this will literally have you on the edge of your seat, biting your fingernails in fear for the character’s safety, it’s almost irritating with the amount of bleak moments and close calls as the audience almost feels as if they are in the movie, fighting alongside her.
1. SCRE4M (2011)
The original “SCREAM” was the first horror movie I had ever seen, and I remembered waiting years for another entry in the franchise and I was so glad to not get let down from the hype… I absolutely love this movie, it was so fun and original. I loved that they brought it back to Woodsboro, re-introducing the high school setting and the nice, suburban areas of the original movie. It almost felt like the perfect reboot of the original, thankfully all of the surviving original cast members returned for this miraculous event, and I could remember everyone theorising that Sidney was the killer, and Gail could be Ghost face’s next victim. I was so enchanted by Scream 4’s spell that all I could think about was “what happens next?” so I instantly checked out independent horror news sites around the internet to find out if there was any word on a fifth movie, and was horribly let down by the news that there were, and still aren’t, any plans for another entry… this upset me so much because I have just been waiting in suspense for the past six years on an update to this knowledge. The way the movie ended, made it seem like Wes Craven had so much to offer the ‘Scream’ universe. I loved the feel that I got from the movie, I loved the new generation of Woodsboro high teens, especially Emma Roberts (in my opinion the break-out star). I think she is so good and playing versatile characters and this movie proved it, she played the innocent high school teenager which she brought onto her performance in ‘Nerve’ and then when she is revealed to be the serial killer, she could give Maddison Montgomery a run for her money as she played a similar character in ‘American Horror Story: Coven’. I recommend both of these, but I wouldn’t have discovered this brilliant actress without the help of this entry in the Scream franchise.
There we have it, the best of the best from the past decade… so far, but these are just from the slasher sub-genre of horror, I promise you that there is so much that the horror genre has offered in recent times, off the top of my head I can name Southbound, Holidays, Emelie, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter and the V/H/S franchise. It’s a shame that 90% of horror movies don’t have a voice in modern society, but at least true horror fans will always be there to pick up on the hidden – and the not-so hidden – gems. I hope that I have inspired you to investigate more into some of these movies, and if you happen to enjoy them then I would love your feedback, or even if you didn’t enjoy them, I am always happy to talk about things I am passionate about. I hope you have enjoyed my article, thanks for reading.